I'm planning a high-level adventure which is giving me a lot of doubts. The premise is:

A farmer discovered in an abandoned mine a talisman that grants illusion powers (a homebrew magic item). The farmer set up an illusory scene in the mine in which his pigs appeared to be hellhounds, piles of straw looked like piles of treasure, and he himself had the illusory appearance of a devil.

The village believes that the farmer was lost into the mine, and sent a group looking for him. The group found the farmer disguised as a demon, surrounded by hellhounds and treasure. The farmer began to blackmail the village, sparing their lives in exchange for treasure; he also forced the village to gather mercenaries to protect him (they're elsewhere in the mine, but not in the room where he stands). The villagers hire the PCs to try to solve the situation.

I've seen all the spells from the illusion school but I'm a little confused. What spells would be needed for the item to create such an illusion?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells a question being closed (rightly or otherwise) has no bearing on our comment policy. In fact, a question that "has no good reason to be closed" is the last one you should want to be posting answers in comments to since it often inhibits the process of reopening. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jun 4 '19 at 0:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic please do not answer in the comments. The question is now reopened so please move that information into a supported answer before the comment gets removed. See here for our policy. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jun 4 '19 at 0:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm definitely stealing this premise for my table ! Thanks for that question ! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4 '19 at 7:52

Seeming and one other spell

To cover the illusions on both the creatures and the treasure you will need at least two spells. One to cover the creatures and the other for the treasure.

Seeming for the creatures

The most important spell you need is seeming. It will let you disguise the farmer and all his pigs as a 5th level spell. From its description:

This spell allows you to change the appearance of any number of creatures that you can see within range. You give each target you choose a new, illusory appearance. An unwilling target can make a Charisma saving throw, and if it succeeds, it is unaffected by this spell.

The spell disguises physical appearance as well as clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment. You can make each creature seem 1 foot shorter or taller and appear thin, fat, or in between. You can't change a target's body type, so you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you. The spell lasts for the duration, unless you use your action to dismiss it sooner.

Hopefully the pigs are willing so the saving through won't happen, otherwise you might have some pigs among your hellhounds. Otherwise the most important parts of this spell are the 8 hour duration and lack of concentration. This lets the farmer set this up and still have concentration available for the second illusion.

Second spell for treasure

There are a number of options for second spell. Illusions of inanimate objects like treasure can even be handled with a cantrip (minor illusion). Spell such as; silent image, major image, creation, and programmed illusion are all decent options. The higher level options have the advantage of longer durations and no concentration. Programmed illusion is definitely the most convincing and only needs to be cast once as it lasts until dispelled, but is a 6th level spell.

Extra touch

You didn't explicitly ask for this but I thought it may be a good idea. Hallucinatory terrain will allow you to make the cave look like a devils lair instead of a hole in the ground. I have used it to great effect NPC villains in my own campaign. It has the additional benefit of allowing you to hide pit traps and other dangers from the party, further disguising the true nature of what is going on here.

Alternatively you could use mirage arcane to get the benefits of both this and the treasure illusion with a single 7th level spell. That has the added bonus of standing up to physical inspection.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Or even Mirage Arcane if you're going all out, although I'd feel a bit weird about handing out magic items that can cast 7th level spells repeatedly for what seems like a relatively low level encounter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Jun 4 '19 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic Thanks for the idea. Edited in. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jun 4 '19 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ That was awesome, nice help 😊 actually im trying to make it a high level quest based on another mercenaries protecting the farmer (problably other npcs), part of the loot from the village goes to them, and was thinking in placing a curse on the talisman, charges or even need a long rest to recharge. And that would be funny... You arrive at the devil lair, surrounded by mountains of treasure, 3 hellhounds and... a pig 😆 \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4 '19 at 23:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LupaShiva Glad I could help. The best way to show an answer helped you is to accept it as an answer. You have a great premise, good luck running this! I'm sure your players will love it. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jun 5 '19 at 0:15

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